Do’s and Dont’s of an Illinois Real Estate License Holding Company

One of the questions that comes up a lot with new referral agents is “What exactly can I do with my license in a real estate holding company.” There are several things you can do and some you need to watch out for in order to stay compliant.

You can refer to other brokers

By joining our holding company you can refer potential clients to any other broker you choose at whatever referral fee you agree to. Due to the way Illinois law works, all referrals must be made through your sponsoring broker. You can NOT receive any commissions or payment from a brokerage who is not your sponsoring broker for any real estate transactions. Any agreements for the referral are between your real estate license holding company and the sponsoring broker of the agent you are referring to.

You can offer to refer potential clients

In a real estate license holding company you can offer to refer anyone looking to buy or sell real estate to another broker. You can answer their questions about what they should look for in a real estate agent and even offer to send them to someone you know would work well for them. What you can NOT do is mislead them into thinking you are representing them in the transaction.

You can NOT represent clients in a transaction

Even though your real estate license is active you can NOT represent anyone in a real estate transaction. This is the trade-off for being able to keep your license active without paying the exorbitant fees most brokerages and associations charge for a low volume or non-active licensees. Even as a referral only real estate agent you can still make good money without all of the headaches of being directly involved in the transaction.

You can NOT skip taking your continuing education

Even though your license is in a real estate license holding company, you are still an active real estate broker according to the state, and still have to follow all of the rules and guidelines of real estate licensing laws, which includes continuing education requirements. Keeping up with your continuing education makes it easier to transition back into real estate full-time if you decide to go that direction in the future.


That covers the basics of a belonging to a license holding company. If you have any other questions about what you can and can’t do as a referral only agent in a real estate license holding company, please let us know and we will be happy to help.

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